Legend has it that this dish was invented by a woman who, after accidentally spilling the porridge, decided to cook it on the stove. This produced the very first “Galette”. Fire was the secret element required to capture the delicious flavors of the different ingredients. The “Crêpe”, or as it was traditionally known the “Galette”, was born.
The recipe for making crêpes is very old and they have been prepared in many different ways over 9,000 years. They have been made of wheat flour, corn flour or flour produced from other cereal grains.
In Brittany, on the west coast of France, Crêpes can be enjoyed any time of the day. Traditionally they are soft and thin and various fillings can be added to them. “Crêperies”, restaurants specializing in making Crêpes have only existed since the beginning of the 20th century. The advent of tourism has meant that the French style Crêpes are now known all over the world and they have become one of the symbols of French gastronomy.
In France, Crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas which is celebrated on the 2nd of February. As with most festivals, Candlemas has not escaped the superstitions usually associated with traditional celebrations. It was believed that the first pancake had to be cooked with the right hand while holding a gold coin “Louis d’ Or” in the left hand to ensure wealth for the year to come.
Also, on this date in the middle of winter, people’s thoughts turned to Spring and they wondered how much longer they would have to bear the cold weather. Popularly, it was believed that “if Candlemas be fair and bright, winter has another flight”. If in the United States a marmot is used to check the arrival of Spring, in France the weather at Candlemas is thought to give a good indication of what is to come: good weather means that the winter will last “forever”.